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Patagonia

Description

The provinces of Neuquén, Río Negro and the Southern portion of La Pampa integrate the Patagonian viticulture region. This territory -situated between 37° and 40° South latitudes- has irrigated valleys, Patagonian plateaus, adequate climate, soil and water conditions for growing a variety of crops. The outstanding growth experienced by this region in the past few years has been possible as a result of the combination of several optimal features, including a wide temperature range (higher than 20° C), scarce precipitations, as well as the cold weather and constant winds that enhance vineyard health, rendering insecticides unnecessary.

Lately, Patagonia has experienced a remarkable development as foreign investments have been arriving in gigantic allocations. During the 1990’s a small but significant amount of wineries -located mainly in Neuquén- initiated their expansion. Today, there are 23 productive establishments: 12 in Río Negro, 7 in Neuquén and only one in La Pampa. All of them share the goal of producing fine wines. The major varieties planted in the region are Chardonnay, Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc.

Río Negro’s High Valley and Neuquén province have been traditionally recognized as fruit production areas, with apples, pears, peaches, apricots and vegetables as their main products. A productive diversification process was introduced in recent times. New species have been incorporated to the valley crops as well as activities related to agro-tourism which provide special programs for visitors. Fine delicate fruits, aromatic herbs, flowers, organic orchards and educational farms have opened their gates to welcome visitors so they can appreciate and participate in the labor carried out at their facilities and taste typical products. Among these hands-on activities offered some of the highlights include fruit picking, cooking and tasting typical dishes, farming in the organic orchards, walks around the fruit plantations and production alleys as well as traditional wagon rides.

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